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Volunteers keep MAPS Air Museum flying
Friday, February 16, 2007

B-26 REBUILD Dave Pawski works to rebuild a radio rack inside a B-26 Marauder at the MAPS Air Museum in Green.

GREEN Jordan Galloway is only 14, but that hasn’t kept him from fulfilling a dream — working on World War II planes. He is one of many volunteers helping rebuild a B-26 Marauder at the MAPS Air Museum.

He is the youngest volunteer there, but that doesn’t matter to the Jackson Middle School eighth-grader.

“When I was little, I went up there (museum), and I really liked it a lot,” said the son of Beth and William Galloway. “It fascinated me, and I got really involved in it.”

The B-26 Marauder is his favorite plane at the museum because it was built for World War II, a war he has studied.

“I’m putting bolts through the holes and putting the nut on the back of them in the spaces no one else can get to,” said the 5-foot, 8-inch, 115-pound lifetime member of the museum.

The B-26 is one of the most recognizable planes the Glenn L. Martin Co. produced. It was designed to meet specifications the Army Air Corps outlined for a medium bomber.

Jordan said he focuses more on World War II than any other war.

“It was really the last great war, and not many people know how much the soldiers sacrificed so the world would not be ruled by dictators and people like that,” he said.

Volunteers needed

Jordan is one of many volunteers who work at the MAPS Air Museum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating people about the history of aviation and its effect on society. Volunteers spend hours restoring planes, give tours of the facility, and work in the gift shop, among other chores to maintain the museum.

“MAPS is always looking for volunteers,” said Richard With, a member of the board and all-around volunteer. “This is an all-volunteer-run operation. We couldn’t exist without them. No special requirements are needed to volunteer here. It doesn’t take any special background. We have volunteers here who mow the grass, others sweep the floors. We can use volunteers in every area.”

Steve Satchell of East Sparta is the crew chief of the volunteers working on a T-37, once the primary jet trainer of the Air Force. The training engines were small, and they screeched, giving the plane the nickname of “Tweety Bird.”

“I have no military background, but I came up here one night with a friend of mine (Don Hickman). He built the tank (model) back there and was a World War II veteran. I saw the place and decided I liked it,” said Satchell, a retired delivery truck driver for McKesson Drugs. “I started out helping other people, and this plane came up. Nobody volunteered to be crew chief, so I went to the office and told them I was interested in volunteering.”

They asked him to put into writing his intentions to become crew chief, so he did.

“I told them I had no military background and basically didn’t know what I was doing, but I would try.”

He got the job.

“There are a lot of qualified people around here to help,” he said, noting that right now he is just loosening nuts and bolts. “It will never fly again, but I’d like to turn it into the museum’s mascot.”

Another volunteer is Ken Alexander of Canton.

Tour guides are students and teachers

“I’ve never been in the military,” said the volunteer tour guide and sometimes gift shop worker. “My father was a pilot during World War II, and I made model airplanes when I was a kid. The best thing about being a tour guide is the people you meet conducting the tours. I’ve met so many World War II veterans, Korean and Vietnam veterans that I will have stories to tell, the background stories of what they did when they were serving in the military.”

He also enjoys taking schoolchildren through the museum and listening to what they have to say.

“Propeller planes to them are something they see in old black-and- white pictures. They are really interested in seeing the jets. That’s the fun part, just meeting the people.”

Larry Karadin of Norton is also a tour guide at MAPS.

“I have a lifelong love of aviation,” he said. “I’m an ex-Navy blimp air crewman. I enjoy being a tour guide because I appreciate the vets that come in here. I have learned quite a bit from those folks. It is just a fun job, it really is. I can be both a student and teacher here.”

Bob Williams of Jackson Township said he started volunteering for the preservation of history.

“Particularly with the World War II veterans dying at a great rate at this time, their history has to be told. Someone told me they are dying at the rate of about 1,500 a day.”

Williams is a Navy veteran who served during the Korean Conflict, but never left the States.

“Most of my time was in flight training, then I got hurt.”

On the security crew at MAPS is Richard McGraw, a retired University of Akron professor. He was a radio operator in the Air Force during the Korean Police Action, stationed in the Philippines.

“I had a student in my class who was a member out here,” he said. “I’m part of the security crew, and I deal with the radios and work in the gift shop.”

See for yourself

WHAT: MAPS Air Museum

WHERE: 2260 International Parkway, Green

HOURS: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Open until 9 p.m. Wednesdays; closed Sundays and major holidays.

INFORMATION: (330) 896-6332 or

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